I was talking with someone recently and they mentioned they'd loved writing programs and hacking their PC as a kid. I could relate to that, but then they mentioned that none of their programs did anything interesting, which made me stop and think. I know I wrote quite a few programs over the years that didn't really do much, but a few were useful, at least to me.
So thinking back, since I know lots of you had computers when you were younger, here's the poll
What useful program did you write for fun?
Or even what was your first program if you can actually remember that. Either way, think back and remember something that you were proud of. And "Hello World" doesn't count.
I've got two that stand out in my mind. The first was a game I wrote on my Commodore Vic-20. I friend and I really wanted to write a game, so we spent a bunch of time figuring out how to read the joystick from the input and mapping it to movement. We built a basic pong-like game that had one paddle that you could move and it would bounce a ball off it. We developed one wall on the right to stop it, but every other direction would allow the ball to leave the screen. We had a few bugs, but it mostly worked.
The other was one that I wrote a few years later on my Apple II. It was a program to calculate out Chemistry labs. I could input various values and it would run the calculations through for results. We'd been having issues with our experiments and if we didn't come up with close to the "expected" results, our teacher would penalize us. So we'd "adjust" some of our inputs with this program to figure out where we're made mistakes in class.
I had a hard time thinking of others. I know we wrote one Dungeons and Dragons like game at one point and I had one later to help manage my exercise routine, but most of the others are a bit of a blur.
So what types of programs have you written?